The Regent Theatre’s new accessible seating is ready for public use and fully financed

PICTON – The Regent Theatre is proud to announce that their Accessible Seating Terraces
have been constructed and are ready for public use. Also, that the Accessing Seating Terrace
Project is fully funded.

The theatre closed for construction on June 13 and re-opened as scheduled on July 8th for a
live performance. The Accessible Seating Terrace Project creates a more inclusive audience
experience by almost doubling their accessible seating capacity. The design aims to restore the
Art Deco heritage of the auditorium, honouring the vision that George Cook, founder of The
Regent, had for his theatre more than a century ago.

Before the project, The Regent Theatre had 14 accessible seats (3% of total capacity 440).
However, these seats were in the back row of the auditorium and could not accommodate more
than one wheelchair on each side comfortably. Now, 26 wheelchairs and/or patrons with
accessibility restrictions can be comfortably and safely accommodated. (6.25% of new 415
capacity.)

Now, a flat terrace runs across the back section of the auditorium replacing 4 rows of in-
accessible stepped seating, which makes the space easier to maneuver and more flexible.

In addition to creating the platforms, the rise/run of the auditorium stairs has been adjusted for
greater comfort and additional railings and lighting fixtures have been added to improve the
safety and accessibility.

“Many of our volunteers and patrons have complained over the years about the difficulty of
climbing the uneven auditorium stairs, especially in the dark. Similarly, the absence of side rails
on one side of the stairs also posed challenges. We listened. And our designers and architects
have done an excellent job of ensuring that The Regent sets a new standard for access and
inclusion for all our patrons. Gone are the days of having to watch the show from the back row,”
says Alexandra Seay, General Manager.

Technical operations and storage has also been optimized by the relocation of the tech booth
and creation of a secure storage area.

“Not only does this project make for a safer and more inclusive experience, it also allows us to
start developing the Regent Experience: it creates new tourist engagement opportunities like
bespoke events, VIP areas, dance floors, lounge-style seating and it allows us to accommodate
seniors groups from the numerous LTC homes in our area and so much more.” Benjamin
Thornton, Board Chair.

Funding for this project was initiated in 2020 with the Raise the Curtain campaign which raised
$10,000 towards the total $150,000 target and continued with a fundraising dinner sponsored by
Jamie Kennedy which raised a further $20,000.

“We are humbled by the generosity of our community. Their support throughout the pandemic
and beyond has propelled The Regent into its strongest financial position in years.” Scott Du
Bois, Treasurer.

In addition to numerous supporters who contributed over the course of 2020-21, in March 2022,
Herb Pliwischkies generously made a $10,000 donation in memory of his late mother and
father, Margerethe and Herb Pliwischkies. And, longtime Regent supporters, Vivian Maclean &
Bob Ritzer, kindly matched his donation. “The Accessible Seating Terraces will truly make a
difference to those with mobility issues like Bob and caregivers like me, who truly love the
Regent Experience,” Maclean says.

The remaining $100,000 was contributed by a funding program administered by RT09 Regional
Tourism Organization. The $150,000 Accessible Seating Terrace Project is now fully financed.

The project is part of a series of renovations, beginning with the Lobby Bar, led by Sage Design
& Construction in collaboration with Shoalts & Zaback Architects who look to restore The
Regent Theatre’s Art Deco features. Construction will continue over the summer and fall to
revitalize flooring, walls, lighting and improving energy efficiency but will not interfere with
regular operations. The company recently designed The Regent’s new lobby bar, which they’ve
stocked full with food and drinks from some of PEC’s favourite vendors including Parsons
Brewing Company, Sandbanks Winery, Sunnydale Farms, The County Chocolatier and
Lemonade Dave.

“The key to The Regent’s future sustainability is flexibility and instagramability,” says Seay.

With these changes to Prince Edward County’s beloved theatre, The Regent team is excited for
the new experiential tourism opportunities, partnerships with local businesses and increased
community access that this project creates.

Media Contacts:
Regent Theatre: Alexandra Seay, General Manager | alexandra@theregenttheatre.org 343-367-
3151

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224 Picton Main Street,
Picton, ON K0K 2T0

The Regent Theatre is owned and operated by The Regent Theatre Foundation a not-for-profit organization and Registered Canadian Charity # 11911 3678 RR0001